Most efficient number of employees on a lawn crew?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by ozarklawns, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. ozarklawns

    ozarklawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 65

    I would call my business an inbetween business right now. Ive been full time for three years. I have one employee who is a seasonal college kid that helps until December when he goes home for a month. I have 55 properties to care for and am meeting a property manager tommorrow to possibly get 20-25 more small residential properties. Right now, we are working about 30-40 hrs per week and adding 25 more would be too much stress and too many of my hours devoted to labor. I need office time shop time and phone time also. I have a hard time trusting someone else to operate solo and also dont have the capital to outfit another truck trailer equipment etc. with winter and seasonal slow down one month away. Would adding a third crewmember be more efficient or would it just add another cost of labor without a significant return on time savings and production volume. Never been here before with my business. Trying to take a step to the next level. Any advice or help will be much appreciated. Thanks!
  2. Jimer

    Jimer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    It all depends on how hard everyone works. I have about a dozen yards on my own I am trying to grow my own business while working for some friends of mine who operate further south than I care to go. But when I work with them I am the third one in their crew. Its only a couple days a week. Anyway If we all are working hard it does shave a lot of time off per yard. One yard they timed it with two people and it was 1 hr and 24 min. With a third person we done the very same yard in 55 min. Numbers don't lie. Good help is key though. Hope this helps. Good Luck
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2012
  3. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,659

    I just work a part time third man right now until next season then when the work justifies it I will make him full time, if your equipted and trained properly a third man makes a huge difference in production, USUALLY! Just my opinion but a three man crew is the ideal size crew, like I said IF they are trained and equipted properly.
  4. ozarklawns

    ozarklawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 65

    I have
    2 trimmers
    2 pack blowers
    1 36" w/b
    1 60" rider
    1 push
    I tend to edge established
    boarders with trimmers to save some time.
    Most of my lawns are small to mid size. 1 acre or less.
    Do you suggest anything else for a three man crew?
    Maybe another trimmer and blower just in case?
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,285

    Define efficiency.
  6. jkatw

    jkatw LawnSite Member
    from Ottawa
    Messages: 30

    We run a three man team most days using one man on trimmer, two on 21" push mowers. The trimmer man will jump on a third 21" push when trimming is complete. We can manage over 30 lawns a day usually in about 6 and a half hours (these are regular and large lawns in urban environments). A two man team can manage 20, a four can do 40, five cannot do 50. I find the three man team includes no standing around by any one team member. A four man team usually has some down time on each job by at least one team member.

    I hope this helps,
  7. HoustonLandscaper

    HoustonLandscaper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    Usually for lawn maintenance, a 3 man crew is ideal if the properties are close to each other. Otherwise, you may want to consider using a 2 man crew. It all has to do with travel time, unloading and loading time and job start time. You want to minimize the amount it takes to travel from job to job and how long it takes to from the start of one jot to the next. If you can cluster your customers very close to each other, 3 man crews tend to be ideal.

    Good luck!
    Marvin Solano
    Sprinkler Repair in Houston, TX
  8. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,659

    Maybe try a dedicated stick edger, Mine has come in handy quite a few times this past season, do you do any shrub work? Bed maint?
  9. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961

    I am thinking 3 is better than 2 but not much.
  10. Blades Lawn Maintenance

    Blades Lawn Maintenance LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Montague, NJ
    Messages: 1,239

    When I worked for another LCO it was just me and him and it worked out perfect. I'd jump on the mower and he would trim and edge. After I was done I get the blower. We had it timed out perfectly where as soon as he would get done I would. Our average was about 27 yards in one day. These yards were prob 1/2 acre properties

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